The regulatory landscape for commercial refrigeration is quickly changing as individual states begin to ramp up regulations to phase down hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants (HFCs). These high global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants have come into focus as one of the most effective ways for states to reduce their overall greenhouse gas emissions. However, these refrigerant regulations have significant financial implications for the supermarket industry. Incentive programs have the power to fast track the adoption of climate-friendly low-GWP refrigerants and more effectively accomplish state emissions reduction goals, but these programs need broader public support to get the funding they need.
The NASRC recently launched a new environmentally-focused movement called Naturally Cool to raise awareness about climate-friendly natural refrigerants and the environment. On Earth Day, we announced the first project of the movement, a high-impact educational video that will increase public awareness of natural refrigerants and the environment.
“Virtually no one outside our industry knows about the impact of refrigerants on the environment or the enormous burden supermarkets face in moving to climate-friendly refrigerants. As a result, financial support for the industry to adopt low-GWP refrigerant technologies has been limited.”
-Danielle Wright, Executive Director of the NASRC
We plan to leverage this increased public awareness to accelerate and add strength to our core initiatives that benefit the commercial refrigeration industry, such as our push for incentive programs that offset upfront costs of natural refrigerant technologies.
“The situation in California is a great example of how resources like our video could make a real difference,” said Wright.
In 2018, the California Cooling Act established an incentive program to help offset the cost premiums of low-GWP refrigerant technologies. However, despite support from the supermarket community, the incentive program went unfunded in the state’s proposed 2019-20 budget. We believe that is due, in part, to a lack of public pressure.
“California constituents can’t push for the incentive program to receive funding if they have never been exposed to this topic, and as a result don’t understand the need,” said Wright. “A simple resource to help folks understand the importance of this issue is a critical step towards establishing a well-funded and impactful incentive program.”
Impact starts with awareness, and we aim to accelerate our impact with this simple, 60-second animated video followed by subsequent projects under the Naturally Cool Movement.
“If done right, a video can be entertaining, educational, and easy to share,” said Wright. “It is the best form of media to get our message out to the broadest audience.”
We also launched a fundraiser and are asking for donations to allow us to develop and promote this educational resource, which can be accessed here: https://www.gofundme.com/naturallycoolvideo.
Read more about the Naturally Cool Movement and how to get involved here: http://nasrc.org/naturallycool.